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"It began for me with my first kuruma-ride out of the European quarter..."

Explorion is a goldmine of travel accounts, from Hakluyt's Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of The English Nation and Bartram's Travels Through North &South Carolina, Georgia, East &West Florida,the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws to the Journals of Lewis and Clark and Washinton Irving's Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains and Dickens's Pictures from Italy and Lafcadio Hearn's Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan (from which I took the post title) to... well, find your own favorites. There's an astonishing amount of stuff there. "Of course you will act according to your own plans, and do what you think best—but FIND LIVINGSTONE!"
posted by languagehat on Oct 17, 2005 - 13 comments

The New Whigs

Is the modern GOP a repackaging of the old Whig party? (archive link) The blend of businessmen's aversion to government regulation, down-home cultural populism and Christian moralism that sustains today's Republican Party is a venerable if loosely knit philosophy of government dating back to long before the right-wing upsurge that prepared the way for Reagan's presidency. A few pundits and political insiders have likened the current Republicans to the formidable, corporate-financed political machine behind President William McKinley at the end of the 19th century. The admiration Karl Rove has expressed for the machine strengthens the historical connection. Of course, the Whigs couldn't hold their disparate coalition together in the face of the slavery issue. What might undo the current disparate coalition in the GOP?
posted by caddis on Oct 16, 2005 - 29 comments

I'm sorry, Dave, you have been outbid by another user.

It is with great regret that we place our PC Collection up for purchase. We being The Freeman PC Museum, not to be confused with any of these. Move over, leicester codex?
posted by Eothele on Oct 14, 2005 - 14 comments

concrete ships

Concrete Ships Toward the end of the First World War, and during the Second World War, the United States commisioned the construction of experimental concrete ships.
posted by dhruva on Oct 13, 2005 - 25 comments

Six Drinks that Changed the World

Six Drinks that Changed the World. Beer, Wine, Coffee . . . Their impact upon the history of the World. via GeekPress
posted by caddis on Oct 9, 2005 - 50 comments

The Lost Museum

On July 13, 1865, one of the most celebrated institutions in the United States, the American Museum, burned to the ground. But thanks to the wonders of technology, it has been rebuilt—sort of—on a Website called The Lost Museum... As it was managed by Phineas T. Barnum, the original American Museum was located in lower Manhattan and presented an ever-growing collection of wonders across five floors, ranging from "cosmoramas" and wax figures, to aquariums and live-animal specimens, to "moral representations" in the Lecture Room.
Via the incomparable Common-place's Finding Barnum on the Internet.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2005 - 8 comments

Wilhelm Furtwängler

The Wartime Ninth. "Berlin. October 7, 1944. In the Beethovensaal a concert is about to begin, but the theater is empty, relieved of its usual audience studded with Nazi elite. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is on stage, awaiting its cue. Conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler stands awkwardly on the podium. The vague meandering of his baton summons the first shadowy note of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony. A Radio Berlin engineer starts his Magnetophon. The most extraordinary orchestral recording of the century has just begun". More inside.
posted by matteo on Oct 5, 2005 - 21 comments

Time wasting without killing electrons

The Online Guide to Traditional games has a short history with pictures of many games that were in existence prior to 1900 and are still played today. Some, like Mancala, much prior to 1900. Also collected by the same author are the rules for many of the games.
posted by Mitheral on Oct 5, 2005 - 10 comments

American Historical Photos

PictureHistory - a source of American historical photographs
posted by Gyan on Oct 5, 2005 - 6 comments

Native American Exploration

A Native American Scoops Lewis and Clark. Moncacht-apé, a Yazoo Indian, traveled up the Missouri and to the Pacific 100 years before Lewis and Clark. He told his story to the Frenchman Le Page du Pratz, who recorded it as part of his 1758 Histoire de la Lousiane (new translations here). Thomas Jefferson owned the book, as did Meriwether Lewis. But a walk to the Pacific Ocean was no big deal for the Mississippi native--after all he had walked to Niagara Falls a few years earlier.
posted by LarryC on Sep 26, 2005 - 21 comments

Welcome our big-bootied robot overloards

On the Chilean island of Robinson Crusoe, a small GPR-enabled robot named Arturito (google translated page) has apparently just found "The biggest treasure in history..." (estimated at $10 Billion).
posted by numlok on Sep 26, 2005 - 25 comments

Robert W. Funk, 1926-2005

We are going to inquire simply, rigorously after the voice of Jesus, after what he really said.
Robert Walter Funk, who died September 3, was the founder of the Jesus Seminar and one of the most influential New Testament scholars of his generation. The Jesus of Nazareth discovered by the Jesus Seminar was a wisdom teacher whose parables proclaimed the arrival of God's kingdom. He was not, in the judgment of the Seminar, the messiah of the end-times (.pdf file, go to page 5 and 6). Also: Funk's 21 theses.
posted by matteo on Sep 26, 2005 - 34 comments

Classic texts in psychology

Classics in the History of Psychology
posted by Gyan on Sep 26, 2005 - 3 comments

A history of modern military rations

A history of modern military rations from canning to MREs. Also, reproductions of American, Russian, Italian, British, and Japanese WWII rations.
posted by milovoo on Sep 22, 2005 - 49 comments

Edward Curtis & Native American Photography

Selling the American Indian: The controversial work of Edward S. Curtis
posted by .kobayashi. on Sep 20, 2005 - 21 comments

Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005

Goodnight, mr. Wiesenthal
posted by matteo on Sep 20, 2005 - 68 comments

Amelie Nothomb's "Sulphuric Acid"

Novelist posits Shoah as reality TV show. In her new book titled ’Sulphuric Acid’ published in France, the successful Belgian author Amelie Nothomb describes a “concentration camp reality show”. It's the story of a reality show called “Concentration”. There are ’candidates’ which are arrested in roundups, tattooed and guarded before they are executed one by one following a vote by the spectators.
posted by matteo on Sep 14, 2005 - 19 comments

NASA soundtracks

Ignition sequence starts ... A spoken word documentary album of the flight of Apollo 11 to the moon. Dramatic - evocative - the right stuff. Provided by Hepcat Willy.
posted by carter on Sep 13, 2005 - 9 comments

Aleksandr Sokurov's "The Sun"

The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life". "The Sun", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Men of Power' tetralogy after the gloom of Moloch (1999), about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus" (2001), focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo on Sep 13, 2005 - 21 comments

Let your carriage be such as becomes a man grave

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience." George Washington's Rules of Civility.
posted by nthdegx on Sep 12, 2005 - 21 comments

How grampa might have done it.

Vintage Projects do it yourself plans, vintage reprints and building ideas from the 40's, 50's and 60's for farm, workshop, woodshop, machineshop, kids and camping. Includes plans for a pop-up camper, toy excavator, snow blower, and concrete block machine.
posted by Mitheral on Sep 9, 2005 - 18 comments

Cerfle

Vint Cerf, "father of the internet", joins Google! It seems Google is going from strength to strength. Not content with buying up the world's dark fibre, they've now wooed Vint Cerf to work for them as "Chief Internet Evangelist" (what a great job title!) Vint's interview is here, and information on his major cause: the need for more IPs!
posted by tommyc on Sep 9, 2005 - 24 comments

Lessons learned?

New Orleans' critical 17th Street Levee has apparently been plugged, but more work remains. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a 1999 report, National Register Evaluation of New Orleans Drainage System, that discusses changes to the system throughout its history. It's worth noting that delays in implementing sewage and drainage improvements go back to the 19th century, even after the American South confronted the deadly Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878 (the last U.S. case was in 1996). More inside...
posted by cenoxo on Sep 5, 2005 - 9 comments

Oveta Culp Hobby and the Women's Army Corps

Oveta Culp Hobby and the Women's Army Corps. Early in 1941 Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts (the first woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives) met with General George C. Marshall, the Army's Chief of Staff, and informed him that she intended to introduce a bill to establish an Army women's corps, separate and distinct from the existing Army Nurse Corps. Rogers remembered the female civilians who had worked overseas with the Army under contract and as volunteers during World War I: serving without benefit of official status, they had to obtain their own food and quarters, and they received no legal protection or medical care. Upon their return home they were not entitled to the disability benefits or pensions available to U.S. military veterans. Rogers was determined that if women were to serve again with the Army in a wartime theater they would receive the same legal protection and benefits as their male counterparts. After a long and acrimonious debate, the following year the bill was finally approved by Congress and signed into law by FDR. Oveta Culp Hobby, chairman of the board of the Houston Post, was appointed as Director of the WAAC. (more)
posted by PenguinBukkake on Sep 4, 2005 - 4 comments

The Art of the First Fleet

The Art of the First Fleet : On 13 May 1787, eleven ships, now commonly referred to as The First Fleet, set sail from Portsmouth to establish a colony in New South Wales, Australia. One of the unplanned but long-lasting outcomes of this event was the large number of outstanding drawings of aboriginal people, the environment and wildlife found on arrival as well as of the early foundation of the colony.
posted by dhruva on Sep 1, 2005 - 6 comments

Rebirth lives again

Modern music software, by and large, is fantastic. It lets musicians create sequences of staggering complexity at the drop of a hat, work simultaneously and easily with both MIDI and digital data, and instantly subject audio to the kind of torturous manipulation that would have taken hours, or even days, with a razorblade and tape.

But do you ever really covet software in the same way that you covet hardware? Do you regard your music program with the same affection as your Moog Rogue or Fender Strat? Can something which exists only in a computer's virtual environment inspire the same pride of ownership as, say, that small silver box called a TB303 Bassline? If it's called Rebirth, maybe it can...


And now it lives again... for free
posted by bigmusic on Sep 1, 2005 - 35 comments

Calamaties transform more than landscape

More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. "When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But . . . some calamities transform much more than the landscape." No, not Katrina. The Great Mississippi flood of 1927. Author John M. Barry in his definitive work on the subject, "shows how a heretofore anti-socialist America was forced by unprecedented circumstance to embrace an enormous, Washington-based big-government solution to the greatest natural catastrophe in our history, preparing the way (psychologically and otherwise) for the New Deal." The author is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier universities (whose web site is *understandably* not answering right now). <Heading for the library to find this book>
posted by spock on Aug 30, 2005 - 12 comments

"I am an old man now... and it is time for me to tell these things."

In the First Person "provides in-depth indexing of more than 2,500 collections of oral history in English from around the world. With future releases, the index will broaden to identify other first-person content, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies, and other personal narratives... It allows for keyword searching of more than 260,000 pages of full-text by more than 9,000 individuals from all walks of life." You could start with the places or Historical Events listings, or just pick a keyword and dive in. (The post title is from the first interview in the collection, from July 1930, with He Dog, who was born in the same year as Crazy Horse: "We grew up together in the same band, played together, courted the girls together and fought together.") Via wood s lot.
posted by languagehat on Aug 27, 2005 - 6 comments

The Story of the 27th Amendment

The Forgotten Amendment: The story of the 27th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Back in 1982, while doing research for a government class, UT Austin student Gregory Watson stumbled across an unratified constitutional amendment from 1789. Noticing that the amendment had had no time limit for ratification, Mr. Watson embarked upon a campaign to amend the U. S. Constitution. Sadly, Watson only earned a "C" on his paper for government class, in which he'd argued the amendment was still viable.
posted by Dr. Zira on Aug 27, 2005 - 14 comments

Edmund Wilson and American culture

"When I read his work, I forgive him all his sins". Edmund Wilson disliked being called a critic. He thought of himself as a journalist, and nearly all his work was done for commercial magazines, principally Vanity Fair, in the nineteen-twenties; The New Republic, in the nineteen-twenties and thirties; The New Yorker, beginning in the nineteen-forties; and The New York Review of Books, in the nineteen-sixties. He was exceptionally well read: he had had a first-class education in English, French, and Italian literature, and he kept adding languages all his life. He learned to read German, Russian, and Hebrew; when he died, in 1972, he was working on Hungarian.
Edmund Wilson and American culture. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Aug 25, 2005 - 12 comments

Political killing in the cold war [and thereafter]

Modern history is replete with assassinations that have a dramatic impact on national and international politics: the killing of Alexander II by anarchists in 1881 unleashed repression and anti-semitism in the Russian empire; the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914 in Sarajevo sparked the "great war" that drowned Europe in blood and inaugurated what Eric Hobsbawm calls "the short 20th century"; the assassination of the liberal Colombian politician Jorge Gaitan in 1948 (a day after he had met a Latin American youth delegation that included the 21-year-old Fidel Castro) helped spark a civil war – the violencia – that continues to this day and the shooting down on 6 April 1994 of the plane carrying Rwanda's and Burundi's presidents, Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira precipitated the Rwandan genocide.

Political killing in the cold war [& thereafter] provides an outline of the aftereffects of assassinations, covert killings, state and judicial executions.
posted by y2karl on Aug 24, 2005 - 37 comments

The awesomest beatnik

Henry Jacobs is, a unique and mostly forgotten (but recently reissued) sound artist and humorist, an inventor of surround sound and, apparently, really really good at left handed ping-pong.
posted by gilgamix on Aug 23, 2005 - 6 comments

The Salisbury Project

The Salisbury Project. Images, maps and essays about the cathedral and town.
posted by plep on Aug 23, 2005 - 4 comments

James Fee's Peleliu Project

The Peleliu Project. The tiny Micronesian island of Peleliu was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The U.S. invasion of the Japanese occupied island began in September of 1944, and was expected to last only a matter of days. Casualties on this 5 square mile island reached 20,000 by the end of the two-month struggle. U.S. soldiers were forced to pour aviation fuel into caves and ignite them in order to end the standoff of those who refused to surrender. One determined group of 34 Japanese soldiers remained in hiding until they were discovered in April of 1947.
Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Russell Fee returned from Peleliu with a fierce, uncompromising vision of America which would have a profound impact on the life and work of his son. Fifty-three years later, armed with his father's snapshots and diary which he had just uncovered, James Fee went to Peleliu to see with his own eyes the place where his father's vision had taken shape. The result of his five year quest is The Peleliu Project. more inside
posted by matteo on Aug 21, 2005 - 13 comments

The Great Queers of History

The Great Queers of History - I am sometimes asked, ‘But does it really matter that some historical figure, for example Tchaikovsky, was gay? ... But I like to pose some questions of my own in response: ‘If it doesn't really matter, why has society taken such great pains to conceal Tchaikovsky’s sexuality, maybe even murder him for it? from Lists of famous homosexuals ( ... and a prior related post by anastasiav, Homosexuality in 18th Century England)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 21, 2005 - 87 comments

Alternate History: How the US won Iraq (in the universe next door)

Iraq 2007: A geopolitical fantasy of what might have been
posted by pandaharma on Aug 21, 2005 - 28 comments

Sleeping Under the Fishes?

A break in the strange case of Judge Joseph Crater. In 1930, Judge Crater, later dubbed "The Missingest Man In New York", stepped into a cab and was never seen again. He left behind a mourning wife and one of New York's most enduring mysteries. For 75 years, his disappearance has been the butt of many dumb jokes and also has been the subject of the occasional book.
posted by Joey Michaels on Aug 19, 2005 - 5 comments

An Image Bank For Everyday Revolutionary Life

An Image Bank For Everyday Revolutionary Life - The Siqueiros Photographic Archive is a collection of photographic images collected by Mexican mural artist David Áfaro Siqueiros..."The archive traces Siqueiros's visual research prior to painting on canvas or on the wall, and also documents his use of photography during the production of the works themselves." [via]
posted by tpl1212 on Aug 18, 2005 - 3 comments

Slavery As We've Heard It

"In slavery times the negroes were sold to the white people." In their simple and plain language, elementary school students describe the horrors of slavery as related by their grandparents. The Greensboro Historical Museum has an online exhibit of the interviews. Another quote: "He said that the white men would whip them and sometimes hung men and women when they were mad with them or if the slaves tried to run away." The handwriting is kind of hard to read on some of these, but worth it.
posted by marxchivist on Aug 17, 2005 - 26 comments

Owzat!

You say bodyline, I say leg theory. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 15, 2005 - 44 comments

The Life of King Edward the Confessor

The Life of King Edward the Confessor. A 13th century manuscript.
posted by plep on Aug 14, 2005 - 5 comments

biology

Kurt Stubers online collection of historic and modern day biology books.
posted by onkelchrispy on Aug 13, 2005 - 5 comments

Hidden from History?

Claudette Colvin --a Montgomery teen arrested 9 months before Rosa Park's now-famous refusal to sit in the back of the bus. There were 4 women who stood up before Mrs. Parks, yet most of us know nothing about them. It was their actions that led to the Supreme Court overturning segregation on public transit, yet Rosa Parks is the visible symbol. On worthy and "unworthy" messengers and symbols.
posted by amberglow on Aug 13, 2005 - 14 comments

mmm... Upper Div College Courses...

The History & Politics of Geology. College prof has his coursenotes online. Interesting reading includes Alcoa's aluminum monopoly, OPEC & Big Oil, and the Tudor Military-Industrial Complex.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Aug 13, 2005 - 9 comments

WPA there it is!

John is not really dull, he may only need his eyes examined. Remarkable posters from the Work Progress Administration, 1936-1943. You can view the collection highlights or the entire archive. A few personal favorites, including a surprisingly fetching cow. The site also includes some interesting historical and critical resources. Now get back to work!
posted by Sully6 on Aug 12, 2005 - 15 comments

Once the curtain is raised, the actor is ceases to belong to himself.

Theatre Ephemera. A terrific collection of photographs and drawings of pre-twentieth century American theaters and the actors who graced their stages. Sumptuous auditoriums, gorgeous costumes and famous faces. [Via Bibi's Box]
posted by LeeJay on Aug 10, 2005 - 7 comments

A Brief History of the Laughing Record

What's so funny?
posted by gilgamix on Aug 9, 2005 - 9 comments

A Practical Explanation of the Principles of Healthful Cookery

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project "...an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century." Includes scanned, searchable, and downloadable copies of such titles as "The Virginia Housewife, Or, Methodical Cook," "Practical Sanitary and Economic Cooking Adapted to Persons of Moderate and Small Means," and "Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent."
posted by tpl1212 on Aug 5, 2005 - 7 comments

Now entering nerdspace.

A Brief History of Game: A nine-part review of the major highlights in rpg history. Other interesting if generally unrelated pieces on the history of gaming, pen & paper or otherwise: "Where Have All the Demons Gone?", discussing the history of Magic the Gathering; A somewhat flippant piece by GameSpy; and some obligatory RPG theory regarding the historical popularity of various styles of RPG.
posted by voltairemodern on Aug 5, 2005 - 32 comments

The Union Makes Us Strong

The Union Makes Us Strong. Articles on British trade union history.
posted by plep on Aug 5, 2005 - 3 comments

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